Thursday, August 23, 2007

Really worth a listen

Found on another bloggers site (thanks Cha cha!) have a look

Well I`m dancing now how about you? no worries about the hair though! :o))

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Well I went and?

I arrived at 12-00 on the dot and sat in the bar seating area and ordered a slim coke (decaff too or I`ll be flying around the walls in minutes) at 12-15 I was wondering if I had got the right day? :o))

At 12-30 the guy who had to come the farthest (Duncan, a guy that joined as a labourer and became a qualified electrician with our help) about 70 miles turned up with his second wife and went to the bar, I remained where I was and waited for a few more to arrive, then came the department manager and his wife and then the welder and then the electrician, by which time my cover was blown (no I wasn`t trying to hide from buying a drink, honest! I think I was actually shy and embarrased in some way) about ten others arrived progressively.

I`m not a "hail fellow well met " type of person, so I spent time with each and gained a lot of information about their now lives after "Chessington" only a couple of them still work there with most retired early or running their own companies. One engineer out of now 27 turned up and only about 4 in that total still work there, from my time.

It was great to chat but disturbing to find that quite a few have had major illnesses including one chaps daughter whom I know well actually contacting breast cancer at 21 years old but I am told that she seems to be coping well with it now?

Others have had bypasses and one a 40 year old, now a senior member in an information technology company has a degenerative muscular illness and expects to be in a wheelchair within six months :o(( so sad so very sad! I of course said all the usual things like there are plenty of other things in life that will kill you first, and live for today, etc! but I guess that I was just being selfish and I guess that it was really more for my grief that to help him that I said it? (what does one say in such a situation having done the gambit of questions as to, is it cronic? can they see a cure in time, etc?) and such a really nice guy too!

It makes me wonder why old B*st**ds like me still survive, reasonably unscathed, not that I`m ungratefull you understand. We broke up after about 17-00 (yes it did really go on that long) vowing to make it happen within the year. I got the general feeling that they all enjoyed their time at Chessington and that perhaps I wasn`t such a bad boss.

More than a few actually said that it was "the best thing that they could have ever done"! Given that those now retired probably had no pensions when they joined and after being there for over twenty years? in that time, a few had actually, with the now regular work, paid for their houses and retired drawing their pensions, and enhanced by "old age pensions" too, were living quite comfortably.

As we all shook hands and started to part I felt quite humbled and priviledged that they would wan`t me at their meet. Long live the old members of the Maintenence and engineering departments of Chessington world of adventures! :o))

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No boat this weekend!

Here I sit listening to the rain! Saturday we had visitors in the form of Sophie the Pup and her mum, Sam our daughter, Sam had an appointment with the beautician over the road (works from a cabin in her garden) although for the life of me I can`t see why she thinks she should need any treatment (I guess I am biased?).

We puppysat for an hour while Sam had here treayment and then the grandkids and their dad Paul arrived. They aren`t too sure of the pup yet as she is like a "highly sprung" wind up toy and occasionally nips them when she gets excited , but they are getting better ! after about an hour of this I dissapeard to meet an old friend for brunch I have to say that the nickname my Grand kids use for me is "Grumps" so I guess that you can see why now?

Wow, the rain is getting harder! Today I have been invited to meet some of the staff from where I last worked, who are staging a reunion at a pub near the park, some of these I haven`t seen for 10 years or more, not sure that I am looking forward to it? but I must go! what to wear:o)) I haven`t got a thing suitable, :o)) should I wear a suit as in the employed times? or go in my, now usual garb, of combats and silly tee shirts Hmmmmm. Has to be combats and low profile, I`ll creep in, shake a few hands and creep out? Fat chance! I feel a speech coming on!!!! Ohhh No not that, anything but that! I bet I get asked though :o(((( Awwwwww! I`m so bad an speeches, perhaps I wont go? More Later!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Unashamedly copied from Annie Hill`s latest posting!

where I worked (when I did such things) we had a "dressing mirror" so that staff could see how the looked before meeting the public. on it was a sign that stated "You are looking at the worlds greatest predator"

Annie said!

One of these river dolphins lives in India, one around the Amazon, and one, which I've had the privilege of encountering, lives in the Rio de la Plata and some other rivers in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.The fourth one was restricted to the mainstream of the lower and middle reaches of the Yangzi-jiang River below the Three Gorges, central China; and in neighbouring tribuatries and the outlet of Dongting Hu.In the 80's, little was known about it and scientiests of the Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology were studying it. At the time, some concern was felt for their future and local scientists were seeing how they could best be protected. They were caught on fisherman's lines and valued for the medicinal qualities of their meat and fat, although not heavily hunted.A more recent study has been done on these delightful little (1.5 - 2.5 m) dolphins. On 8 August 2007 they were officially declared extinct.In spite of humanity's best efforts, these are the first cetaceans we have completely wiped out. I doubt that they will be the last.Next time you snap up a bargain,'made in China', remind yourself of its real price.Well done, Homo Sapiens. Annie Hill!

Rob said!
"Remember extinction is for ever"!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Don`t eat flat fish or Lobster!

Serves me right, look what it can do to you over a period of fourty plus years ! Oh I`m the larger version by the way! Grand son and I were doing the Sunday roast when this picture was taken! Yea right :o))

The rape of the planets resources

I can`t say that I`m proud of this photo and many more like it that I have but, in the sixties my famuily was hungry and money was short. I could dive to sixty foot ( and more) all day long if required and yes I had hair :o)) Spiny lobster were easy prey and Plymouth UK was our port. The largest Lobster I collected and weighed was 12lbs but there were bigger.

One thing that we never did was take berried femail Lobster and always left them where they were ( a rigid discipline) we always collected them by hand never spearing them as some do today in other countries. However even with our so called"misguided disciplins" the Spiny Lobster stocks off the UK went deep and are rarely seen today, by todays divers. we ate all that we collected rarely funding our "sport" with any revenue that they might have brought in! we never took more than we needed!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This guy is responsible for the coating on the computer disc

Marcel Vogels ( a self taught Physicist) site, Whilst more of a tribute to him and his lifes work is really worth a read!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Had a bouncy damp thrash on a benny2 on Sunday

Force 6 and rising We left Brighton with me at the wheel, with two crew and one minor sick machine (poor soul, the grandchild of a crew menber) dodged the moored dreger at the mouth of the inner harbour which has just finished the channel dreging???? and placed almost centrally in the bouyed channel I Ran aground! Bum!!! there should have been a min or 2.5 metres and it was showing 1.8 and Yes we draw 1.9? ho hum! lots of fiddling with the engine and crew moved from stb to port and off we go again! Around the wall and the lump is about 2+ metres and 30 kts of wind from the SE we headed into the wind to allow us to get the sails up which happened to be in the direction of the end of the pier and the wind is now just off the nose and from our port (lee shore syndrome! the main went up with two tucks in it and still very little drive so the genoa went out 50% and away we went. after an hour and as we approached the end of the pier (too close to pass it safetly we tacked out to sea and having now had about an hour and a half "bounce and soak" treatment we headed back to the marina ! the young lad was now below suffering from "inseperability from a red plastic bucket syndrome" and as sick as a Pig with Grandfather in attendance! we set the mainsail and genoa to "goose wing" (against my better judgement but briefly fun) and off we took . Unfortunately the washing machine effect of the sea passing under the hull did nothing for my steering and so with the main starting to lose drive and beginning to luff I shouter "Boom" and she came across, about 6 inches from my nose, sweeping the deck, with the remaining crew member on deck flattened in the cockpit keeping out of the way as he tightened her in. we were now about a mile off the entrance and could easily see the waves spraying over the Caissons of the harbour wall, and knowing the entrance well ,as I do???? we took down the main and carried on in with the genoa only at about 6.4 knots (more than with the main up as it was back winding the foresail) I decided that we would approach quite open so as to see anything that was coming out (fools) and turned when the wall cleared with the intention of hitting the channel full in the middle (given our experience on the way out) which we did so with the starboard channel marker at least 20 feet off our starboard beam, and the wall about the sam off the portside, I waved back to some people on the end of the wall and promptly ran aground again (B*gger) so once again an embarrased "wriggle and a rev" and we were off again into the inner harbour. I have to ask myself if Brighton are responsible in any way for ensuring that they actually have and maintain the sorrect stated (on charts and almanac) clearance in the harbour (entrance as well as the berths)

The bits I hit must have been spikeybits as we showed 2.6 metrs and then went to 1.8 and as we went over back to 2.8, was well in what should have been the dreged channel (ie between the marker bouys, and have been the minimum). I had a great sail on the return the wind hit 35 knots on a couple of occasions and I guess that the boat did about 10 knots for a short while ( goose winging) she sailed like a dingy and was very responsive ( except to grounding :o)) ). Contrary to my feelings that I wouldn`t be asked out to sail on her again because of my ineptitude in the case of the grounding/s (I had no crystal ball did I ?) The Owner and great crew member said as I left haviing commented that he wouldnt want me to crew anymore etc he said what are you talking about? Ive found someone as mad as me, who actually likes rough weather! you are welcome any time you like! So perhaps I`m not such a failure as I thought :o)) Tee hee!!!!!!! Hee, Hee, I had a great time!!! now its time for the Funeral :o((

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Funeral on Monday

Of a friend. I was quite shaken at how he looked when I saw him last and even more so when I was told that he had 6 months to live after an exploritory operation. You can imagine how we all felt when his wife called to tell us he had died without coming out of hospital! I dont know why Im writing this but I guess that it helps to come to terms with my own "mortality" another fight with a more powerfull wolf, won by the wolf! Bloody shame! I really feel for his young family he must have only been about 50+ years old and a really nice guy! so sad :o((

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I keep batting on about the indiginous specis of England

and how we will become as the American indian and Australian Aboriginies, and its starting already I read in the Tabloids that the Environmental Agency (those responsible for the rivers of this green and not too plesant land and the enforcement of the environmental protection act, and other revenue entities). Advertised a job for an "ethnic liason officer"or similar title with a rider that they were an equal opportunity employer! A young lady who is just finishing her degree in environmental studies applied and was told that she was not suitable as she was white english! had she been white welsh or scottish she would have been considered :o(( can you believe that? already we are not good enough to be employed in such a post in our own land! Time to go! and leave the UK to the political Jackals of europe!after the UK jackals have finished with it of course.

I have in my minds eye the carcass of John Bull with its torn "union jack" waistcoat, picked clean by illegals and malformed, incompitent government. Walking away in the background wearing Bulls top hat I see a rather bloody leading politician, and like the "Pied Piper leading a stream of (also bloody)Illegals! So I`m a Pessimist? its no different to being an optimist only I`m not so happy? or just simply more Pi*sed off :o)) Yawn!!!! Time for bed!

The scribblings of Ardie (1978)

A thought for today!

"for the man that goes to sea for fun, a journey to hell and back would be a mere indulgence! (Ardie 1978)

Bought myself a mountain bike !

so that I can get some serious exercise and as a result I have discovered a whole new world! the world of sore buts,aching joints and sweat. So far I have done about thirty miles on it including riding straight into the home going "Gay Pride"march an its last leg to Preston Park just outside Brighton.

I have mostly cut out lunch and hope that it will all go some way to improving my health (forgetting the aches and pains)

I`m really enjoying my new found form of transport and am quite surprised that I haven`t lost bits of my bike when leaving it in the racks in Brighton, but so far I haven`t (I guess that I shouldn`t speak too soon).

Such simple pleasures that as a kid I wouldn`t have thought twice about owning and riding a bike, now bring a whole new view of life! Yes I have one at home, but only a fold up one on the boat and that is so difficult to ride with its weak constrution (I`m 16 stone) and small wheels.

My home Bike is really for off track riding and also uncomfortable to ride (I took a ride today when I got home and its not a patch on my new (down at the) boat one so I guess that I have some ajustments to make.